Artist of the day: The Tampa Bay Symphony
One of the area's biggest community orchestras, the Tampa Bay Symphony has been fostering an appreciation for classical music in Tampa Bay since 1986, by sponsoring youth competitions, giving out thousands of free concert tickets and simply giving amateur musicians an outlet for their skills.
Under the leadership of conductor and music director Jack Heller (above, with concertmaster Halina Bobrow), the symphony has attracted musicians from around the country -- including former orchestra professionals who have retired to Tampa Bay. Other members are people who just love music, and haven't played in an orchestra setting since high school.
This weekend, the symphony kicks off its 2009-10 season with a program of works by German masters, including Mendelssohn, Beethoven and Kurt Klotz performing a French horn solo on Richard Strauss' Horn Concerto No 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 11. Performances are as follows:
Oct. 11: 4 p.m. at Ferguson Hall, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Tampa
Oct. 14: 8 p.m. at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater
Oct. 16: 8 p.m. at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg.
Tickets are only $20, but as per tradition, the symphony is also giving away a total of 500 free student ticket vouchers. Call (727) 595-0345 prior to Tuesday (10/6) to ensure proper mail delivery.
Photo (2004): Bob Croslin, St. Pete Times.